This Week in Pants

I adore my day care provider.

Not only because she takes beautiful care of my Peach. But because she’s a seamstress.  A true kindred spirit.

In one afternoon, she:

  • Serviced my machine
  • Showed me the right bobbin to use for my machine
  • Found me the right size needle for my machine
  • Pretty much taught me how to sew on my sewing machine
  • Helped match fabrics
  • And helped me sew five button-cute pairs of pants for the Peach! FIVE PAIRS, PEOPLE!!! Nice cozy flannel lined pants that fit properly over the Peach’s cloth swaddled little bottom perfectly and match all of her little tops to boot.

I will post pictures of the Peach in some of her dandier outfits tomorrow!

You can get these dandy pants too–she made the pattern herself and it’s so easy–trust me! We zipped these out so quickly–I think each pair took less than 20 minutes to make. Tops!

Jumping Into Jumpers

I do love a good jumper.

That and a nice onesie and some baby leggings is all a little lady needs to look well dressed in my opinion.

I have these wonderful grandiose plans to make a few for the Peach before the end of the new year out of these fun fine-waled corduroy fabrics.

There are some very cute patterns out there, but my wonderful day care provider is actually also an uber seamstress and pattern maker! And she offered to turn my favorite little rooster jumper into a pattern.

She also gave me this very clever pinafore she made that crosses in the back which is too cute for words. I might have to try that pattern too!

Bargello Update

There are so many great things about living in Alameda. As if Ole’s Waffle House and the Alameda Flea Market weren’t enough, my new little keep allows me to walk the baby to the huge huge huge embroidery store, A Stitch In Time.  Yes, I know you are jealous…. It’s OK. I feel the same way about people that live walking distance to Purl Soho in NYC.

Fortunately, Mary Elizabeth, the most wonderful embroidery goddess, very graciously pointed me in the right direction to help start this bit of bargello badassness:

It’s coming along slowly since I can only work on it after the baby goes to bed, but I think it will be the perfect bit of pizazz in my living room.

Here is what I have so far:

I decided to make not a square but a nice low rectangle pillow.  I am using the Catherdral stitch, which isn’t too fancy, but I adore the snappy pattern.  And I am using cotton not wool for added yumminess.

Here is a close up of the stitching:

I think it matches our Denyse Schmidt quilt quite nicely. I know, it should be on the bed, but I love it so much I have it covering our living room sofa.

I must admit , the bargello stitch is much faster than normal needlepoint and needlepoint is in general much easier on the old hands than knitting. Ahhh!!! But of course with a baby, everything is going to take a bit longer, but here’s hoping that I finish them this year!

What Comes Around Goes Around

In a recent past post, I wrote about my new favorite style inspiration–Seventies Prep and several friends asked me what the heck that was and how I was going to interpret it.

It started when I came across this yummy polyester vintage shirt with the most divine red print. I wore it under a t-shirt and jeans and felt so very much at home and rather spiffy.  Really, I just love a good print.  And the seventies had many good prints.  Not the wild disco ones that people think of with the seventies. But the more subdued look of the seventies through the subtle Prep lens.

It’s not about hit you over the head pink and green polos with headbands kind of prep.  Or the gold lame disco interpretation of the seventies. But the smoother subtle conservative prep with the funk of the seventies added for charm.

It’s a little Lilly:

A little Jackie O:

And definitely some DVF. Rock that wrap dress baby!

Some nice bamboo print. Sort of between the clean scandinavian lines with antiques sort of look for design and oh so very cozy and comforting to me.  But that layered on top of my already vintage look.

I think I might have to go shopping with one of my favorite fashion muses. the lovely Galaxy Girl at Strawberry Lemonade. Have you seen her blog? If not, I highly recommend a drop by.

It’s not Hammer Time

I love my child. And I love the fact that she can make anything look super cute.

Except these pants.

As the weather has been coolish and rainy for a good chunk of March and April and probably May, I feel the need to put pants on the Peach.  And my sweetie was kind enough to run into the frighteningly overwhelming BabiesRUs to pick up some pants for the baby. And returned with these baby-size MC Hammer pants.

You can see in this photo the tightness and long cuff of the green pair of pants here, and pointed out by Jen.

See how similar they are to the MC Hammer pants? Except for the gold lame.

Of course these do not match the cuteness of my baby. Surely, my baby deserves better?

Enter my obscene love of making my own bias tape. Like this darling yellow and spring green dot ones that I put on the bottom of the Peach’s pants:

Ahh… Much better!

Quilt:1, Sewing Machine: 0

I have a long love of quilts, thanks to Craft Mom, who is an uber quilt artist. I’ve had a quilt fascination since the age of 14 and have marked all of the major milestones of my life through quilts. Not necessarily in creating them, but they’ve been there–like when I moved to Boulder in high school and was in the musical Quilters, where the cast quilted as part of their daily after school bonding. Or receiving the seven sisters quilt wall hanging as a present from Craft Mom for my college graduation. Or the light-weight blue gingham and white quilt I bought when I moved to California to start my career. And the most recent addition–my amazing Denyse Schmidt quilt that was a wedding present from a dear family friend.

So, clearly making a quilt was going to happen for my first born. It was just as important as knitting something for her. But I didn’t know what to make. Until I found this great vintage poppy tablecloth. I knew that I needed to keep this quilt simple, so I put the focus on the beautiful design with a gray border.

I knew that this wasn’t going to be a hand-quilted job, which is fine–I know–shameful, but fine. I was determined to use a walking foot to help it out, but alas, no walking foot would fit my trusty old Singer Featherweight, (named Stella) so I decided to go commando and just plow through. Then I realized that the plow should never be used in crafting. But alas it was too late. My beloved Stella crumpled under the pressure. I actually saw smoke coming out of that little sewing machine.

But I did what any self respecting crafter would do. Hotfooted it to the local sewing machine store (and yes, there is one on the island) and bought a new machine. NOTHING CAN STAND IN THE WAY OF MY CRAFTINESS!!! So, I splurged a bit. OK, more than a little bit, but they gave me a great credit from my trade in and a deep discount. So, it turned out to be less than what I paid for Stella eight years ago. And Stella had a good life. She made a slew of drapes, dresses, and disasters during her time–she served me well and hopefully, she’ll serve someone else as a great first sewing machine.

May I introduce you to my Janome Magnolia–who shall be known as Maggie from now on. I’m very pleased with my purchase. Janome has all metal parts and is digital. It did a buttonhole beautifully and has so many sassy little stitches that I’m sure I’ll use at least three of them this year alone.

And they gave me a free walking foot to boot. Very sweet of them, indeed!

Watch for the future adventures of Maggie shortly, who I’m sure will be tested by the craft explosion that is about to hit our new little island home over the next couple of months.

Benefits of No Sleep–Part 2

Eileen, my craft sister, bought a serger a few years back and lent it to me to figure it out.

Well, with nothing but time on my hands at 3:00AM, I thought it was the perfect time to figure that darn serger out and play with a machine that had four very feisty needles and a switchblade. Two hours later and re-threading the scary lower needles twice, I figured it out! Me: one, serger: zero.

Well, I should say, I got the machine working and doing something that looks kinda right, but I have a feeling it will take many months to truly figure this thing out. I still haven’t managed to figure out that “cutting the fabric” part yet, but hey there is always the sleep deprived 3:00AM of tomorrow.

By the time the sun was up, serger mania hit me. I think this hits everyone who has ever owned a serger. It is the somewhat expected desire to serge every piece of fabric in my house, and boy did it hit my hard. So, I used some old undershirts of Mr. Sweetie’s and turned them into proper kitchen wipe rags to hopefully lower our paper towel consumption. And over a two day period, I created 40 of these perfect wipes.

They are super absorbent, and look rather jaunty with their serged edging color combo of red, white, black and purple (thank you, Eileen for your excellent color choice) making them the perfect for learning project for how to serge. And trust me, it is a learning process. And they take care of that resourceful/green/frugal lust that I inherited from many generations of Dotson thriftiness.

Next step, serge the random colorful bits of stretch cotton I bought and turn them into receiving blankets for the baby.

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